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Developing of biophysical food for monitoring postharvest supply chains for avocado and potato and deploying of biophysical apple




food simulator, temperature monitoring, food loss, cold chain, sensor, fruit thermal response, biomimetic


Horticultural products are prone to high postharvest losses due to their perishability and susceptibility to drivers for food decay, including temperature. A narrow temperature window must typically be maintained to prevent accelerated decay and, at the same time, thermal damage, such as chilling injury. Food simulators or so-called biophysical food help monitor postharvest supply chains, preventing temperature abuse in the cold chain, and optimizing refrigerated transport and storage. This biophysical food for fruit and vegetables needs to be tailored for each commodity or cultivar to consider different physical properties influencing their thermal response. We developed new biophysical food for two sizes of both avocado (cv. 'Hass') and potato (cv. 'Kufir Jyoti' and 'Agria'). The shell design and filling were adapted to mimic the specific characteristics of the real products. Integrated sensors were log core and surface temperature. Furthermore, we optimized the production steps of our existing biophysical food prototype for apples (cv. 'Braeburn') and deployed them in a cold storage facility in India. Thereby our biophysical apple was used to map the thermal distribution inside a cooling unit. By mimicking the real commodities' thermal response via biophysical food, we gain complementary insights compared to only monitoring air temperature. Our plug-and-play biophysical food can be stored with real food, particularly to sense conditions in hard-to-reach locations. These biophysical food temperature data will help improve cold chain operations to achieve optimal and homogenous cooling and decrease postharvest losses.


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